Cold Opening: That was fast. I'm not annoyed that this won't have Alec Baldwin, because he's hosting the entire show, and, frankly, Melissa McCarthy's Sean Spicer is funnier. This is even funnier than the first installment and it just shows how good Melissa McCarthy is at comedy, especially with angry characters.
Monologue: I wish that the monologue had some Trump-bashing. Sure, the references to some of Alec's past SNL adventures felt nostalgic, but I really wanted to see something more political. Oh, well, they still have a whole episode for a Trump impression. This part was just about Alec himself, and Pete Davidson taking some time to say that he's gotten really ugly ever since 1990.
Russell Stover: Good to see more of Sasheer Zamata! This is a pitch-perfect parody of how not to mark Black History Month. Remember, everyone, boxes of chocolates are good for Valentine's Day and anniversaries, but not at all appropriate for cultural occasions.
Pitch Meeting: The Super Bowl showed us that commercials have changed since the inauguration and this commercial shows it. A simple pitching process for some Cheeto's commercials shows the contrast between your standard goofy Cheeto's commercials and overly-serious commercials about LGBT issues and immigration.
Jake Tapper: You thought politics were a horror movie before? Kate's Kellyanne Conway makes it even creepier in a Fatal Attraction parody. The tone goes from Fifty Shades Of Grey to Misery in less than a minute, showing a deranged Kellyanne. She's willing to stab Jake Tapper and break into his apartment in order to get views. It's a disturbing little short, but very effective.
Drill Sergeant: Nepotism is alive and well in the army as Alec Baldwin's military leader drops in for an inspection. Of course, he's harsh to every soldier except for his son. It goes from amusing to exceptionally absurd when Alec starts fanning his son during a push-ups exercise and asking him about his birthday plans. I do wish that it was longer, but that's a minor quibble.
Ed Sheeran Musical Performance #1- "Shape Of You:" Was that a ukulele? I like that instrument. Wait, no, it was a xylophone. I'm dumb. That's what happens when you just guess based on the sound. You can watch it here.
Weekend Update: Yeesh, props to Weekend Update's photoshop crew, but now I have a mental image of Donald Trump in an ill-fitting Batman suit stuck in my head. Excuse me, I need to wash out my brain. If Donald Trump is Batman, then he's Azrael back when he briefly took over in the nineties. Kate McKinnon makes a great Elizabeth Warren. I wonder what she thought of the impression. Alex Moffat's smarmy "Guy Who Just Bought A Boat" character wasn't as funny, sadly. The Leslie Jones/Mikey Day segment kind of made me laugh, but it wasn't the best.
Trump People's Court: Wow, SNL doesn't do this very often. Due to the format of the show, sketches typically don't get referenced later in the episode. Rare exceptions have been made, such as the glorious "Z Shirts" piece (which can be seen here and here), but now it's happening again. A People's Court scenario was jokingly referenced on Weekend Update and now we have Alec's Trump in court against the Supreme Court. I only wish that it had Cheri Oteri making a surprise appearance to reprise her Judge Judy character and lambaste Trump.
Beyonce's Babies: In a surreal little sketch, we have Beyonce's twins conversing in the womb during a standard check-up. To my delight, Tracy Morgan appeared for a cameo! I didn't understand some of the references, not being much of a music person, but it was still funny. Apparently, Beyonce can control them just by singing.
Leslie Wants To Play Trump: YES! Just like an earlier prerecorded piece about Leslie and Kyle Mooney forming a relationship, this one focuses on Leslie's efforts to play Trump under the circumstances that Alec wants to stop playing him. I really like the continuity in this one, again showing Kyle and Leslie dating. The Lorne piece was also excellent. Somehow, I get the feeling that part of Leslie's tirade against Lorne was based on every writer's secret fantasy.
Ed Sheeran Musical Performance #2- "Castle On The Hill:" I wasn't really feeling this one. You can watch it here.
Gym Class: I'm very bad with faces, but I finally learned how to recognize Mikey Day. In this sketch, Doug (Mikey Day) is determined to beat the sit-up record in gym class. Sure enough, he does beat the record, but he experiences a "fart attack", to quote Leslie Knope, whenever he does a sit-up. It was a juvenile concept, but it ended up being fairly funny. The ending did make me wonder if the two main characters were related. It sounded like Mikey called Alec his dad, but I'm not sure.
Overall Thoughts: As episodes go, it was definitely a good one. I thought it would be more satirically biting, considering that the show's resident Trump impersonator hosting, but it still had some great insults. I do think that it wasn't as good as last week's installment. Some of the sketches were weaker this week, especially in the last half. The political material felt clearer and more focused. The next episode will air on March 4th, featuring Octavia Spencer as the host. At the time of this writing, the musical guest is unclear.
Zachary Krishef is an evil genius. Do not question his knowledge of Saturday Night Live trivia or the Harry Potter books.